William Shakespeare. 1564–1616

Sonnet XLV.

“The other two, slight air and purging fire”

THE OTHER two, slight air and purging fire,  
Are both with thee, wherever I abide;  
The first my thought, the other my desire,  
These present-absent with swift motion slide.  
For when these quicker elements are gone    5
In tender embassy of love to thee,  
My life, being made of four, with two alone  
Sinks down to death, oppress’d with melancholy;  
Until life’s composition be recur’d  
By those swift messengers return’d from thee,   10
Who even but now come back again, assur’d  
Of thy fair health, recounting it to me:  
  This told, I joy; but then no longer glad,  
  I send them back again, and straight grow sad.